Tinnitus is most commonly described as ringing in the ears when there is no external sound to explain the noise. Oftentimes, people with tinnitus describe the perceived noise as either ringing, buzzing, hissing, roaring, or clicking. For some, it is a subtle, constant phenomenon, and for others, it comes and goes varying in intensity. Living with this condition can be very frustrating because there is no way to pinpoint exactly where the noise is coming from, and there’s no single solution to the problem. In our blog ‘The Ringing In Your Ears: Exploring the World of Tinnitus,’ we embark on the journey of unraveling this common yet misunderstood medical condition.
First, it’s important to understand that tinnitus is a symptom of an underlying disease and not a disease itself, which means there are a variety of methods one can take to ease the ringing. Our blog aims to provide insights into its causes, symptoms, and treatment options. Due to its persistence, it can have a large impact on one’s daily life and well-being. To help ease the minds of those living with this condition, our blog also offers coping strategies, shares stories of those who have found success in living with tinnitus, and provides tools and techniques to help regain peace and silence in your life.
Whether you are personally affected by this condition, or you are seeking more information so you can help others with it, please join us on our journey through ‘The Ringing In Your Ears: Exploring the World of Tinnitus.
Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
Tinnitus is most often described as perceiving a noise in the ear without the presence of an external sound source causing it. It is described as a ringing, buzzing, clicking, hissing, with a varying degree of volume and persistence. Depending on the cause of the tinnitus, it can also be accompanied by other symptoms such as ear pain, hearing loss, or dizziness. At El Dorado Hearing, we provide a quick and easy assessment to test your hearing, which is a great place to start if you are unsure of your next steps.
Before you can begin the process of easing the ringing in your ears, it’s important to uncover what’s causing it. There are multiple possibilities such as
- Exposure to Loud Noises
- Earwax Blockage
- Age-Related Hearing Loss
- Head or Neck Injuries
- Caffeine or Alcohol
- Stress and Anxiety
- Vascular Problems
If you are experiencing tinnitus and relate to any of the symptoms above, it’s important to get in contact with your physician so they can help you narrow down the source. Once you and your doctor have established the cause of the ringing, you can begin the process of treating it. There are different treatments depending on the cause, but some include
- Addressing the Underlying Cause
- If you are frequently or have been overexposed to loud noises, it may be time to reevaluate your volume settings or begin avoiding situations where loud noise is persistent. If you have an earwax blockage, it’s time to take care of it. Additionally, medications may need to be adjusted or other medical conditions such as TMJ or high blood pressure may need to be addressed.
- Sound Based Therapy
- If it’s possible that the tinnitus is caused by hearing loss, then it may be time to schedule an appointment with a specialist to discuss hearing aids. Hearing aids will amplify external noises and in turn, reduce the perception of tinnitus. There are also other sound-based therapies that can help reduce the perception of tinnitus such as listening to white noise or using a specific tinnitus masker that is uniquely made to mask and mitigate tinnitus.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- If and when tinnitus is caused by stress and anxiety, cognitive behavioral therapy is a great tool for managing emotional distress. One of the benefits of CBT is learning coping strategies and techniques for calming down and soothing one’s nervous system, which in turn will help reduce the symptoms of tinnitus.
- Lifestyle Changes
- If you or your doctor determine that the cause of your tinnitus is due to certain lifestyle choices, such as overconsumption of caffeine or alcohol, then modifying your choices and routine is a great place to start.
Regaining Peace and Silence
Tinnitus can be an overwhelming and frustrating symptom to experience, especially if it’s perceived as loud and persistent. Regaining a sense of peace and silence in your life is probably at the top of your to-do list, so let’s dive into a few ways you can begin the process.
Firstly, it’s important to recognize that determining the cause of tinnitus may take some time, so patience is necessary. And along with patience, it’s extremely important to extend yourself compassion. If you are easily frustrated with your inability to pinpoint the problem or reduce the symptoms, that’s stacking another negative on top of an already stressful situation which will only exacerbate the problem. So try to calm down and be nice to yourself during the process. Mindfulness techniques, yoga, and calming white noises will be your best friend when dealing with tinnitus.
Additionally, educating yourself and talking to a professional can help ease your anxiety because you will begin to understand the problem more clearly. With understanding and knowledge comes more peace surrounding the situation. Another crucial piece is managing your sleep. The fastest way to throw your body off and put it under extra stress is a lack of sleep. When you are experiencing tinnitus, it’s very important to keep your body calm and well-rested so you have the physical energy to face the issue.
We hope this article provides insight into the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for the common yet misunderstood condition of tinnitus. Take your first step towards healing today – visit El Dorado’s Hearing Center for one-on-one assistance with tinnitus.